Digital Pets

I’ve been mulling over the questions from the last post and I’ve come to the conclusion that I would like move forward with the idea of the rectangular seating representing some sort of pet animal that the residences of NewActon East cannot own. I have tried to address most of the questions and issues brought to my attention last week.

Using sound is tricky but doable. If not sound, something else? Due to time restrictions and me not even knowing where to start looking into using sound, I decided this week that I might change to something a little bit simpler and easier to control – Bluetooth IDs or twitter feeds. I have used Bluetooth IDs in a past project so have the knowledge to put that into place. However, I like the idea of using Twitter feeds as the data source as it bring about the notion of “feeding” the creatures rather than just having the information there eg Bluetooth Ids. I’ll look into both and table the of pros and cons to help me decide.

Why are they alive? What are they trying to tell me? Originally I didn’t have a reason for the seating to be alive. I was inspired by the Toyota Auris Hybrid: ‘Get Your Energy Back’ advertisement by Glue Isobar and thought it was an interesting concept. Now, with the idea that they represent pets, the viewer needs to believe that they are alive and somehow relate to them. People seem to connect strongly to things with facial features. I haven’t thought too deeply into what they are trying tell me, as I see these creatures as bit on interacting fun.

What’s it saying? What’s it saying about the place? For now, my project does not have a particular meaning that needs to be portrayed. It’s not really saying much about the location either other than linking the concept of an anti-animal building housing digital pets. I think this needs to be looked into further.

What’s it got to do with this space? Can this happen anywhere? Be site specific. Projection mapping onto the seating makes the installation a bit more site specific than if it was projected onto a wall. Also using the concept of the creatures being virtual pets of the people who live at NewActon East adds strength to the project. However, I still think there could be a stronger link or connection besides these two obvious ones mentioned above.

What’s it going to look like? Still unsure at the moment, but I like the idea of having an abstract visualisation of their emotions rather an realistic depiction of the animal.

Why do they communicate to each other? I thought that adding the interaction between the creatures would add another layer to the installation.

How do you tell the audience it’s interactive? I think without some sort of signage the viewer won’t know that the installation is interactive. Also the rate of refresh will need to be pretty fast as people tend to want things to happen instantaneously. If not, they will lose interest and walk away. There will also need to be some sort of acknowledgement that the creature has received the data otherwise the viewee won’t know if it has reacted to it or not.

Who is the target audience? I would hope that this installation to engage a variety of people. From the employees and people who live there to the randoms off the street. Locating the installation in view of the main door, I hope that it would encourage people to come through and interact with the creatures.


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